Life is anything but ordinary

Life is anything but ordinary

Over the years, you have learned - without realizing it - that your real life is ‘ordinary’. You have learned that the everyday moments, those regular things that happen daily, are less than ‘special’.

What you have learned is a lie.

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Documentary Family Photography | Sand, swings, and puddles: the mysteries of life

Documentary Family Photography | Sand, swings, and puddles: the mysteries of life

You've heard me say it before and I'll keep saying it just as often as I can: every family is different, and the activities that fill your days are unique to your own family, and you should never ever try to compare yourself to any other, because comparison is the thief of joy. But all strong families have one thing in common and that is...

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An hour with the Castellanos family

An hour with the Castellanos family

I made the trip back to Mississauga last weekend, during some kind of migraine-inducing pressure system that drove temperatures in mid-October to 24 Celsius. It was just as well, because Isabel's son was recovering from croup and the warm humid air was probably good for him. (Just guessing. I'm not a doctor.) They'd moved in to a new house only two weeks ago. Grandma and grandpa were visiting from Colombia, and they were hoping for some photos to take back with them. So, a busy time for them, and yet they made time for me.

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I threw out my back, and everything. (Alternate title: Dream it, and it will happen)

I threw out my back, and everything. (Alternate title: Dream it, and it will happen)

Midway through the month, I threw out my back. It might have had something to do with the 15-hour wedding I shot two days prior to that, or with my TERRIBLE posture when editing photographs. Or with the fact that I'm getting old. So old... :D

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from Ontario to Alberta: a family of six says goodbye

from Ontario to Alberta: a family of six says goodbye

The Murrays are one of those families that you want to have living on your block.

Though we were never actual neighbours, my kids went to school with their kids, and my daughter counted their daughter among her besties. And whenever I saw them around, they simply brought energy and fun and goodness to the community. In short, the Murrays are good people.

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photography reaches deeper than research

photography reaches deeper than research

Before I became a family photographer, I was a parenting researcher. I was interested in how parents behaved, and how their children developed.

However, most of the hands-on data collection and family visits were not done by me. They were done by research assistants who would collect the data and hand it over to us, the researchers. 

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Fall for your life. Fall in love with real.

Fall for your life. Fall in love with real.

While you’re imagining all those other families have more glamorous lives than you, they’re just making dinner and having quiet conversation. They’re tired from a long day at work - just like you - and they, too, are looking to reconnect with loved ones.

So fall for your life. Fall in love with real.

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Who is this other Viara?

Who is this other Viara?

There were wardrobe changes, girls getting ready with lots of hysterical laughter and good vibes, kids being kids (read: jumping off couches and playing pretend shooting games), and even some serious dabbing. There was Bollywood-posing outside by the tree, and delicious food and hot coffee and the inauguration coverage from the previous day completely faded into the background for a couple of hours.

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make time for the pit-stops (with the Millers)

make time for the pit-stops (with the Millers)

I'm well versed in traveling with children, painful road trips, scrambling for ideas to distract the little people in the back, without being able to explain why it's taking so long, or tell a white lie like, "we're nearly there". 

But life is not a race. Make time for the pit stops. 

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YEAR IN THE LIFE: the package to break all packages

YEAR IN THE LIFE: the package to break all packages

Have you ever wished you could have an authentic, all-encompassing photographic story of your family’s life?

Not a last-minute portrait session before the holidays, or a mad scramble to don matching outfits and smiles in front of a curtain, but a real, honest-to-goodness portrayal of the crazy, quiet, cozy, obnoxious, loving, warm, or plain inexplicable moments your family burns through in a single year?

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